It has been an incredible summer so far! Beginning with my husband’s birthday and a vacation to celebrate it with two of our best friends, followed by an amazing week of VBS teaching 1000 kids about the love of Jesus, trailed by a beautiful wedding of a dear friend on the beach in California, and now two weeks of my newest addiction: The Olympics. Anyone else finding themselves glued to the TV, completely thrilled by athleticism at its finest? Good, glad to hear I’m not the only one. Mixed into the busyness of all of the above, I’ve been beyond blessed to lead a small group of incredible young ladies through a summer study of the book of James. Each of us with a copy of God’s Word in hand, every Monday night, we’ve dived into the treasures found within James, and we’ve walked away full each night. Tonight marks the end of our study, but I am convinced that we will emerge from this study changed. It has been so incredible that I wanted to share with each of you some of the highlights. Perhaps you will be inspired to do your own study of James!
We began the study with the challenge to read through the entire book as many times as we could throughout the summer, multiple times a week if possible. There are only five short chapters in James, so carving out about 20 minutes a day would allow each of us to read through the book daily! What an incredible way to not only meditate on God’s Word but to also commit it to memory.
Another approach we took to our summer study was reading through the book out loud together when we met. There is just something so powerful about speaking God’s Word out loud and reading it together in community with other believers! Most of us had different versions or translations, so it was incredibly helpful to hear one another as we read.
In addition to that, practical application was pivotal in our study of the book of James. Our efforts are in vain if we only hear the Word but fail to apply what we are learning. God calls us to not only hear the Word but to also be doers of the Word that we hear (James 1:22). The hearing of God’s Word followed by application = obedience.
With these things as our foundation, our weekly discussions were refreshing and so encouraging. I learn so much from these young women each week, even though I am labeled as their “leader”. Seeing God open their eyes and their hearts to Himself is the most beautiful thing. Having a front row seat to witness all that God is doing in their lives and how they are growing in their love for Him is such a joy. That is the effect that God’s Word can have a life that is surrendered.